Book Review: Mets by the Numbers by Jon Springer and Matthew Silverman


Want to know the history of the Mets by uniform number from 1962-2007? Mets by the Numbers (2008) is the book for you!  The book is a collaboration between Jon Springer, mastermind behind the Mets by the Numbers website that’s graced the internet for the past decade, and Matt Silverman who’s worked on several books…

Book Review: Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury


Hailed as “the first magnum opus of the Palestinian saga,” Gate of the Sun (2006) by Elias Khoury is my (tardy) Around the World for a Good Book selection for March. This epic novel features the narrator, Dr. Khalil telling stories to the comatose Yunes, a veteran of the conflicts with Israel seen as a…

Three is the magic number (for podcasts)


Here’s another edition of my irregular feature of spotlighting good podcasts I’ve listened to recently: Writing the World is a recent episode of the Wisconsin Public Radio show To the Best of Our Knowledge. It features interviews with several prominent and award-winning authors about their craft. What struck me is that while we often talk…

Book Review: Vermeer’s Hat by Timothy Brook


Here’s a rare occassion in which I read a book in the year it’s published after reading this review of Timothy Brook‘s Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World (2008) in the Christian Science Monitor. This book is also my selection for April’s Book A Month Challenge on Beauty. Brook…

Old Sounds


I haven’t promoted it yet, but I added a new page to the links at the top of this blog called “PODCASTS.” It’s basically a list of all the podcasts I (try) to listen to sorted into a few broad categories. Some of the podcasts appear in multiple categories. I probably should also add a…

Papal Mass in Washington


Yesterday, I watched Pope Benedict celebrate Mass with 48,000 people at Nationals Park in Washington. I wouldn’t usually do this because like fireworks, there’s something about Mass on tv that just isn’t the same. I’m also something of a “low church” kind of Catholic, to use an old fashioned term. But I was home from…

TV Show Meme


I suppose this is the weekend where I write about TV. Ironic in the sense that I don’t actually own a tv, and haven’t had one in the home since 1999. I’m not an anti-tv elitist (although I do feel smug when I hear people have long conversations about reality show participants as if they…

Commercials of my youth


I read this post called Forgotten Boston TV Commercials (via Universal Hub), and it stirred up nostalgia for some of the crazy local commercials of my youth.  Of course, since I grew up in Connecticut, my commercials are of a New York/Connecticut vintage. Here’s what I found on youtube: First, there’s the Mount Airy Lodge…

Time Begins Again


Time Begins on Opening Day is the title of a book by Thomas Boswell (see previous) and pretty much sums up my attitude toward baseball and life. There’s something comforting about the daily rhythm of baseball that is comforting. Even if I’m not watching a game on a particular day, I’ll pass a tv showing…

Book Review: The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies


Our Boston Chapter of the William & Mary Alumni Society book club selected The Welsh Girl (2007) by Peter Ho Davies for our April reading. From the dust jacket summary, I gathered this was a romance between a German POW and a local girl and figured this was a remake of Summer of My German…

Beer review: Wells Bombardier Bitter


Beer: Wells Bombardier Bitter Brewer: Wells and Young’s Brewing Company Source: Draught Rating: **** (8.7 of 10) Comments: This is a tasty English-style ale. It’s a great looking beer with a thick head, and remains good looking as one drinks. The taste is fine too, bitter of course, but with a bit of sweetness. This…

Beer Review: Wexford Irish Cream


From England to Ireland… Beer: Wexford Irish Cream Ale Brewer: Green King – Morland Brewery Source: Draught Rating: ** (6.9 of 10) Comments: Nothing at all like Bailey’s Irish Cream. This is a beer that looks like a blond Guinness, thick with a creamy head. I found the scent a bit off-putting and the taste…

Movies I’ve Watched Recently


Here’s a bunch of short movie reviews, notes for my memory at least. I tend to watch movies in bunches and don’t want the anxiety of trying to write full reviews like I do for books anymore. Good By Lenin! (2003) – Set in East Berlin, this touching family comedy-drama tells the tale of Alex…